Canada: TSB report cites fatigue in B.C. tug incident - PressFrom - Canada

CanadaTSB report cites fatigue in B.C. tug incident

08:55  11 january  2019
08:55  11 january  2019 Source:

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The incident report form may contain information about an unusual incident which had happened but typically it would refer to facts and information regarding an accident or an injury which had occurred to a specific person.

Pilot fatigue has been cited as a factor in the sudden dive of an Air Canada plane last year that injured 16 people. A Transportation Safety Board report According to the TSB , the seatbelt sign was on in the 40 minutes leading up to the incident . "This occurrence underscores the challenge of managing

TSB report cites fatigue in B.C. tug incident © Provided by The tug boat Nathan E. Stewart is seen in the waters of the Seaforth Channel near Bella Bella, B.C., in an October 23, 2016, handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk First Nation, April Bencze, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

VICTORIA - A tugboat accident has the Transportation Safety Board repeating its calls for heightened awareness about the dangers of crew fatigue while at sea.

There were no injuries or pollution spills when the lone mate on watch duty fell asleep as the Ocean Monarch touched bottom while on auto pilot in Princess Royal Channel in British Columbia, but it could have been deadly, the board's senior marine investigator, Glenn Budden, said Thursday.

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Safety board report also cites 'inadequate train handling' prior to 13 cars going off the rails in Alyth " Fatigue management" seems to have played a role, the TSB says. "A crew member was likely "The report makes no specific recommendations to CP around this incident ," said spokesperson Salem

The tug subsequently sank and separated from the barge. The tug and barge were owned by Houston-based Kirby Offshore Marine Operating. The TSB said the report underlines the need to effectively and reliably manage the risk of fatigue in the marine industry, noting that it has identified fatigue as a

"We're talking very remote country," he said.

"It could have been much, much worse. We could have had three fatalities on our hands."

The Ocean Monarch was towing a barge filled with cement when the July 2017 accident occurred south of Kitimat.

The tug's master and deck hand were asleep below deck and the vessel's navigational alarms were off, the board's report says. It concludes the mate likely fell asleep as a result of acute fatigue from previous night shifts, chronic sleep disruptions and the monotonous workload in the wheel house.

"You basically are impaired," said Budden. "Your reaction time is slower. Your cognitive thinking is not what it should be."

The board recommended mandatory fatigue awareness training for watch keepers and fatigue management plans for vessel operators.

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The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) collects voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident /situation reports from pilots, controllers and In Canada, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada ( TSB ), is an independent agency responsible for the advancement of transportation safety

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The board's report does not say who owns the tug and attempts to find its owner for comment were not successful.

Last May, the board made similar fatigue awareness recommendations for vessel operators and crew members in its report on the sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart, a tug that spilled about 110,000 litres of diesel into the water off B.C.'s central coast.

The board highlighted employee fatigue in its annual 2018 watch report as a major safety hazard in the marine, rail and air transport industries.

"What the investigations are finding is that fatigue is not well recognized and one of our recommendations is to provide some recognition and awareness about fatigue," said Budden. "In a lot of cases, (crews) don't think they are fatigued. They don't feel tired but then they fall asleep."

He said the channel where the Ocean Monarch touched bottom is a narrow stretch of water in an area called the Inside Passage. It requires vessel operators to be on alert, he added.

"Where he went aground is some of the narrowest water that we have on the Inside Passage," said Budden. "It completely reduces the margin for error. If you do happen to have a mechanical difficulty or fall asleep you don't have much time before you are going to hit the beach."

After the Transportation Safety Board's investigation, the operator of the vessel installed a navigational watch alarm on the bridge of the Ocean Monarch and ordered that all alarms be enabled and monitored at all times. New safe operating procedures were also developed and implemented, the board says.

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